tyile l) Ml ILA CHRISTINE BORLAND - AH HOSPITAL Mount Stuart Gallery. Isle of Bute, Fri 6 Jun-Sun 24 Aug
The red, fleshy pulp of a dropped watermelon spills out onto the marble staircase. Its clear, watery juice oozes like a pool of blood. Christine Borland’s photograph, The Velocity of Drops: An Hospital, Staircase is intriguing.
The image is part of a series of commissioned photographs created by the Ayrshire-born artist. Trawling through the archives at Mount Stuart, Borland discovered that the Victorian-gothic house was used as a military hospital during the World War I. The original glass negatives show six rooms of the house set up as hospital wards. Even the gilt-edged priceless paintings remained on the walls. Taking this idea as a starting point, Borland has re-photographed the rooms and in each one, she has dropped a watermelon. The visceral smashed and splattered melon makes reference to the blood and guts of the injured soldiers.
Along with the photographic images, Borland is also working on a possible permanent piece for Mount Stuart. Her research has uncovered many other themes which she is currently developing. From a set of botanical etchings made around the time the original house was built, Borland has taken the image of a red seaweed,
GILLIAN STEEL: COME TO MY HOUSE
Street Level, Glasgow, until Sat 5 Jul 0..
The compleXities of communication within the family unit are central to this new body of work by Gillian Steel. The show is comprised of three main works: an animation seduence. photographic portraits and an installation With a DVD DTOTOCTIOTT. The first space sees four depictions of
The Velocity of Drops: An Hospital, Staircase
indigenous to Scotland, as a potential design and has began casting various bones in porcelain, painting fragments of plant form on to them. She has also looked at the notion of collecting and collections. During her time on the Isle of Bute she discovered a beach full of tiny bits of porcelain and glass, polished and made smooth by the sea. People collect them - a complete contrast to the personal passions and treasures housed within Mount Stuart.
This extensive research is central to her work, but so too is a strong sense of curiosity. Aesthetics are equally important and throughout her work she has used delicate materials to often express quite weighty issues. Spirit Collection: Hippocrates (1999) asked complex questions about the implications of genetic research but it was its beauty - clear glass vessels suspended from the ceiling - that first drew the viewer in.
‘The necessity to engage people on an aesthetic level, to make something that is beautiful or engaging in quite an immediate way, is very important,’ says Borland. ‘I think that if people aren’t seduced or don't get into it on an immediate level then there's not really much chance to try to expect them to take the next step.‘
If previous works are anything to go by, then prepare to be seduced. (Helen Monaghan)
Exploring the complexities of communication
everyday scenarios humorously re- enacted by a family of dandelion figures. These images are reminiscent of Bill and Ben With the banal yet iowal atmosphere lulling the Viewer into a more serious subtext. The seduences themselves create a magical world: however. the definition of each scenario through the associated text hinders a more open and intriguing interpretation.
Within the walls of the main gallery
88 THE LIST 5‘ 719 June 2003
Steel displays feiir groups of family ponraits. These images are the most successful of the show. appearing strange and beguiling and achieVing an appropriate SuspenSion of tenSion between image and Viewer. The figures stare Out of the images. their mouths packed with flowers unable to communicate. their expressmns further magnified by the constraints imposed. Central to these works 18 placed Come to my House. a
constructed home with DVD proiection. The only point of entry into the image is througn a Window. this gaze being duplicated further through the proiection within a burning deer. The narrative receiints a domestic tragedy and as with many of the works displayed lure the viewer in The Symbolic and censtructed imposmons further emphasise their placement OuISide of the lamiiy t. tSorcha DallaSi
News from the world of art
Gallery is finally set to reopen after its closure for redevelopment. There has not been a major show there since the Hiroshi Sugimoto exhibition last year, but this is all set to change. On 25 July, the gallery will reopen with the Archibald Campbell and Harley Photography Prize 2003 which features the work of Martin Boyce, Claudine Hartzel, Lucy Levene, Alexander and Susan Maris and James Thornhill. Stills has also appointed a new curator, llyana Nedkova, who will be devising the gallery programme along with the director Deirdre MacKenna and the holder of the art education post. Funding has been increased by 22% from the Scottish Arts Council which has allowed them to develop the exhibition programme which will incorporate residencies as well as commissioned and experimental projects. The cafe has been replaced with a new, fully equipped digital space while the existing Richard Hough Resource has now been prioritised for use by groups.
AS PART OT ARCHITECTURE \‘.’eek 20073. RIAS and Habitat na.e ,omed forces to give people tne ’iDliOthli’Til‘, to renew,- expert a’t.ice and inspiration on how to transform their homes Architect in the Store at Habitat offers .:‘3.tcrs a t‘ialfvheir consultatiOn with a." RTAS reg‘stererl architect ﬁx a 'TTiTTL'TTll’YT donation of 910 to the chant, Shelter Scotland. The e .ier‘t‘; takes peace on Satiirrla, 2‘. Jute from ‘. lam. 5pm at the Embargn branch of Habitat on Shams. ck Place For "Hire .nformat 9c arcriitectzxeweekerg uk EDINBURGH SCULPTURE Workshop is holding an open doors day on Sunday 8 June from 2pm. Throughout the day. there will be the opportunity to see artists at work, a slide show of members' work, sculpture demonstrations and informal talks. See listings for more information.